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Daily PowerPoints for visual learners and students with special needs

by Cheryl Hagerty
Special Needs Teacher

Sharing ideas: A great teaching tool for visual learners

Visual learning Quote of the Day: The limits of my language are the limits of my mind - all I know is what I have words for.  Ludwig Wittgenstein.

One of the benefits of a county-wide "Institute Day" is that teachers can travel to other buildings and learn from one another. Larry Wauthier, an 8th grade Science teacher from Indian Trail Middle School, demonstrated this technique for a number of teachers. My students and I have reaped the rewards using daily PowerPoints as a visual aid for learning.

The class becomes more structured and organized using the PowerPoint. The first slide my students see in the morning is the "Quote of the Day" with the current date highlighted at the bottom of the page. This information is presented on the classroom television screen, and students know to take out their composition books to write the quote down.

By the time the first bell rings, students are already engaged in an activity, and I have an opportunity to take attendance and answer student questions. We briefly discuss the quote and then I move to the second slide that covers school announcements.

Most announcements are addressed over the P.A. system, but it helps to see the words since most students are visual learners.

Visual learning slide announcing todays vocabulary words

The daily objectives and assignments are next. This is very important for both the students and for myself. Since I am a middle school teacher, I have more than one class, and this helps me to organize and cover the same material for each class. Also, if a student is absent, I have a printed copy of the PowerPoint in "note" format available so he or she can see what was missed and write the information down in his or her assignment notebook.

I also find PowerPoints beneficial when I introduce a new unit. Copies of the PowerPoint can be given to students with special needs as required by their I.E.P's.

Lastly, since I travel to two different classrooms every day, using daily PowerPoints have been a real timesaver. I don't have to write my homework, quotes, and dates on two different blackboards or create, make copies, or organize as many overheads. All the information is stored in my folders on the Intranet.

Setting up the PowerPoints may take more time initially, but once all the information is on file, it is just a matter of spending a few minutes a day making minor changes on homework and announcements. Daily PowerPoints become a great organizational tool and learning tool for teachers and students.

Download an example Daily PowerPoint for visual learners (ppt 224 kb)

Published: April 2006

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